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A facilitator does electrical work at BridgeYear's Career Test Drive event held at Davis High School in North Houston.

Ensuring a Quality Job Within Six Months of Graduation

Chris Fraser

Students enrolled in vocational training or college are often looking ahead to their careers. What if we could ensure they will be an employer’s ideal candidate by the time they finish their program?

Students deserve an opportunity to secure quality employment with their hard-earned credentials and degrees, and employers are seeking a skilled workforce to meet the demands of an evolving market. Graduation day isn’t the end goal, but the beginning of a chapter that should see qualified candidates thriving in quality employment. But often, neither job seekers nor employers are finding their perfect match.

Bridging Education and Employment

When students build professional skills, experience, and networks while in college, they enter the workforce on a stronger footing. Internships and other work-based learning experiences provide an ideal setting for students to develop both technical and soft skills, and graduates who had at least one internship are 48.5% less likely to be underemployed than their peers – yet only one-third of bachelor’s degree holders participate in a paid internship.

Employers value the real-world skills candidates gain in a professional setting. A recent survey by Wiley University Services found that 69% of HR professionals believe their organization has a skills gap, and half believe jobs require more soft skills now than when the pandemic began.

The first job out of college is also a critical pivot point. Recent research finds that most college graduates who start out underemployed are still underemployed 10 years later. A role that allows a graduate to apply their full skill set and training will position them for success throughout their career, and starting salaries can have a long-term impact on a graduate’s lifetime earning potential.

Partnering to Help More Students Access Quality Jobs

At the foundation, we are focused on programs that build stronger pathways from postsecondary education to employment, and better align the needs of students and employers. We support platforms and work-based learning models that help postsecondary students and recent graduates build technical and soft skills to succeed on the job.

We are looking to partner with organizations that build bridges between education and the workforce, equip students with in-demand skills, and ensure more students attain quality jobs within six months of earning a credential or degree. Together, we can ensure students are prepared to secure a quality first job and thrive at work.

Partner with Us

Let's build stronger pathways to ensure a quality job within six months of graduation.

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